Art into Science - Science into Art

Lead Research Organisation: University of York
Department Name: Chemistry


York is one of the most visited places in England. With major attractions such as the York Minster, the National Railway Museum and a plethora of historical city churches, York attracts close to 4 million visitors per annum, with just over one million arriving by train. A staggering 3.38 million visitors attended city museums and churches in 2005, of which a very high proportion attended York Minster. In the month of September, the number of visitors in the city usually totals 351,360 and this number will swell this year because of the Festival. The visitors are regionally and culturally diverse arriving from all continents with a multitude of interests, for example, theology, architecture, history, engineering, art and photography. The interest may be either professional-based or merely social such as a hobby. We appreciate some of the audience will be international, and possibly non-English speaking. Language is not a barrier since one part of the engagement is visual. Stunning liquid crystal images, 5 m wide by 10 m high, will be digitally projected on to the east wing of York Minster together with picture galleries in venues across the city, including inside the Minster and at the National Railway Musuem.With such a large, diverse and captive audience the impact of our public engagement and participation will very high. Not only will members of the public have access to stunning scientific imagery across the city, but also a unique chance to engage in public debate with three internationally leading experts in the field of liquid crystals, Professors Gray, Goodby and Raynes, as part of a Caf Scientifique event.Publicity will be at the highest level possible since it forms part of the Festival. The Festival boasts the highest rates of press coverage, national and international, of any annual UK Science event ensuring worldwide media exposure. Publicity and dissemination will be further enhanced using the network of media and public relations experts at York City Council and the University of York. The production of leaflets, programme cards, radio and possible television interviews are envisaged.We are disseminating science through visually stunning artwork. The nature of the artwork as such is mobile and can be easily transported. We envisage dissemination as part of a travelling exhibition, making it accessible to various parts of the country, for example to Tate Modern.


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Title Art Covers 
Description Liquid Crystal Textures were used for the covers of many journals and books 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2007 
Impact Liquid crystal textures and collages are often used as illustrations in, and for, scientific journals. Since the Art-into-Science, Science-into-Art Exhibition, numerous collages have been used in journals, for example Chemical Society Reviews have used a collage of flowers on the front cover of an issue of the journal that was specifically devoted to research into liquid crystals. 
Title Art into Science, Science into Art 
Description Liquid crystals provide microscopic images called textures. They are highly coloured and show large defect patterns that can be used as art images or they can be used in collages for other art forms, and for printing on cloth etc 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2007 
Impact This project, Art-into-Science, Science-into-Art, took place at York Minster during the week of the BA Festival from the 9th to the 14th of September 2007. The major event of started on the evening of the 10th September when York Minster provided, and funded, a Public Reception and Opening event. The exhibition of 35 art works, two explanation boards, two acrylic advertising boards, three sculptures and a leaflets desk were located in the Northern Transept, and remained there open to the public for one week. The second major event of the exhibition, which was located adjacent to the restaurant area of the Main Hall of the National Railway Museum, was Liquid Crystals on the Move. The exhibition was part-funded by the NRM. The poster boards were created by Goodby/Matharu and NRM staff and produced by a local designer. The exhibition was open to the public over the entire month of September. During the week of the BA Festival an alfresco film event ran in the evenings to the rear of the North Transept of the Minster . On each evening a different feature film, eg 2001 a Space Odyssey, ET etc, was played to a paying audience. Thus, the third event involved a film, created by Dr Cowling, of liquid crystals being projected onto York Minister as part of a film evening. The film was projected onto an 80 foot canvas screen prior to the feature film. The audiences numbered between two hundred and three hundred, thus over 1000 members of the public saw the film over the week of the festival. 
Title Art-into-Science, Science-into-Art - Café Scientifique 
Description Entertaining Science and Art Lectures - from how your TV works to how liquid crystals can be used in Art. 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2007 
Impact As the Art-into-Science, Science-into-Art project provided the possibility of connecting with the public via Café Scientifique, Café Scientifique draws in a relatively broad audience, many not specializing in science. Talking science and art together addressed most of the interests of the public. We (Goodby and Cowling) have given many public lectures on such topics, from schools talks, Café Scientifique, Christmas Lectures, After Dinner speeches over the years to 2014. The general title of the talks has been either Liquid Crystals - All things bright and beautiful, or Flat Screen and Lip Gloss - Back to the Future with Liquid Crystals. 
Title Art-into-Science, Science-into-Art Al Fresco Video 
Description Liquid crystals give bright and distinctive textures on the polarised optical microscope and as they undergo phase transitions between one phase and another the effects are quite striking and dynamic. The film incorporated a wide range of these transitions in a 10 minute sequence. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2007 
Impact The video was shown every night prior to a feature film during the Festival of Science. Subsequently, the video was requested as part of the Royal Society science roadshow where it accompanied the artwork and sculpture that also formed part of the exhibition. The video has also been adapted and used in various scientific public awareness talks and presentation, for example at the AGM of the central yorkshire section of the RSC in 2009. 
Title Art-into-Science, Science-into-Art at Chemistry Week 
Description Traveling art exhibition around the UK that lasted one week and then meeting up with a week long art exhibition at Burlington House, the Royal Society of Chemistry, on Piccadilly, London. 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2007 
Impact After seeing the Art-into-Science, Science-into-Art Exhibition at York Minster and the Liquid Crystals on the Move Exhibition at the National Railway Museum in September 2007, the Royal Society of Chemistry requested that the Exhibition be incorporated into Chemistry Week, which was due to be opened on the 3rd of November. The Chemistry week exhibits were in two parts, one to be held in the Fisher Room at Burlington House, Piccadilly, the other as part of a combined exhibition on several topics which was to travel from Glasgow (Science Centre) to York (National Railway Museum), Burnley (Turf Moor, Burnley FC), Nottingham (CELS Trent University), Oxford (Science Oxford), Bristol (Bristol International Airport), Swansea (National Waterfront Museum), and Hatfield (University of Hertfordshire) before joining up with the main exhibit in London. The exhibit in Burlington House comprised sculptures, some art works and leaflets, whereas the Art-into-Science, Science-into-Art part of the travelling exhibition was mostly composed of art works. 
Description Made a number of art works for public display based on taking scientific observations (images) into the art world.
Exploitation Route Public awareness lectures, schools lectures, art and design.
Sectors Education,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Other

Description EPSRC
Amount £15,820 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/F023790/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2007 
End 10/2007
Description National Railway Museum 
Organisation National Railway Museum
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution WE provided all of the artistic input and technical background to the exhibition at the National Railway Museum. Part of the EPSRC grant was used to pay for a local artist to develop the ides.
Collaborator Contribution The exhibition was part-funded by the NRM and the poster boards were created by Goodby/Matharu and NRM staff and produced by a local designer. The exhibition was open to the public over the entire month of September. The NRM Exhibition was relatively technical and focused on local scientists (George Gray FRS and Peter Raynes FRS) contributions to the development of liquid crystal displays. 14 A1 Poster boards described the development of liquid crystals in the UK, and the inventions in materials and devices which underpin today's flat screen displays. Apart from the first few days of the BA Festival when the exhibit was staffed, interviews were made and visits from the Press were entertained, the exhibit was not staffed by members of the Liquid Crystal Group at York because of the one month duration of the exhibit, instead the responsibility lay with the staff of the NRM who were trained in the details of liquid crystals and displays.
Impact Liquid Crystals On the Move:" exhibition at the National Railway Museum in York for a period of one month - September 2007. The picture boards and artworks were retained by the University of York.
Start Year 2007